February 4th, 2016
In a non-Everettian context (Hugh Everett) identity may be understood in different ways. Consider David Wallace’s example of the ancient pot (P2). An antiquities specialist informs you that your P2 is the same as P1, a famous pot owned by Emperor Tiberius in ad 30. There is a four-dimensional tube P in spacetime extending from P1 toP2—a spacetime worm. The matter of the tube has certain structural and dynamical connections running along it. If we write P(t) for the contents of P indexed at time t, the specialist’s claim is underwritten by the existence of some structural-dynamical relation R holding, for each t, between P(t) and P(t + δt), with δ signifying a difference or change in time. Each indexed moment along P(t) would simply be a stage of the pot’s existence.
There are two basic philosophical conclusions about the identity of the pot being the same pot. The first is called the Worm View as I’ve previously alluded to. Under this view, P is the pot and P1 and P2 are just different names for the pot (literally, P1 = P2). The second view that the P1 and P2 are the same is the Stage View. The pot appears as an instantaneous three-dimensional object: P1 = P(AD 30); P2 = P(AD 2016). Thus, to say that P1 and P2 is the same pot, it means: P2 is linked to P1 by a continuous chain of R-related pots.
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November 23rd, 2015
Since the site has been down for approximately three months and is slowly getting back up, I’d like to give an update on what has been happening and some changes in the direction of my doctoral research.
Over the last couple years a lot of things have happened but the details will have to remain absent for now. One series of events led to several medical bills from the States needing to be paid. Due to some government policy changes they were moved to the forefront, which required immediate attention and affected much of my financial situation over here. A friend of mine, Alfonso Alvarez created a fundraising page, which completely blew me away.
So many friends and strangers helped me exceed my goal to help with the circumstances. I’m very grateful for everyone who helped. For those who prayed, gave financially, and even gave food, thank you! I’m truly humbled by what happened and it was quite encouraging. To see how a community of like-minded people can come together and help out another person is inspirational. I’ve given ebook copies to all those who helped that wanted them. Some were anonymous and if you’d like to get in touch with me and get your copies, please do.
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November 25th, 2013
The following is an article my PhD mentor, Alasdair Richmond, wrote for The Conversation.
As Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary looms, time travel is everywhere – on the screen, at least. Famously, the Doctor can whizz through the years using a “dimensionally transcendental” machine, the TARDIS, and make changes to the past as and when he likes. But what is time travel – and how much of “Doctor Who” might really be possible?
A handy definition of time travel comes from philosopher David Lewis. Lewis says time travel involves a journey having different durations viewed from outside (in “external time”) or from inside (in “personal time”). Suppose you spend five minutes travelling aboard your machine, as measured by (e.g.) your watch and your memories. On arrival, you find 150 years have elapsed in the outside world. Congratulations, you have time-travelled. Five minutes of your personal time has covered 150 years of external time.
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November 26th, 2012
In 1956 Hugh Everett III published his Ph.D. dissertation titled “The Theory of the Universal Wave Function.” In this paper Everett argued for the relative state formulation of quantum theory and a quantum philosophy, which denied wave collapse. (DOWNLOAD HERE)
Initially, this interpretation was highly criticized by the physics community and when Everett visited Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in 1959 Bohr was unimpressed with Everett’s most recent development. In 1957 Everett coined his theory as the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. In an attempt to circumvent the problem of defining the mechanism for the state of collapse Everett suggested that all orthogonal relative states are equally valid ontologically. What this means is that all-possible states are true and exist simultaneously.
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November 19th, 2012
Below is a list of the top forty philosophers within the last 200 years. The tally was composed of 600 votes. On a side note, I’m quite please to see David Lewis making it up to 13 and C. S. Peirce at 20.
|1. Ludwig Wittgenstein (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
|2. Gottlob Frege loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 261–160
|3. Bertrand Russell loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–137, loses to Gottlob Frege by 218–156
|4. John Stuart Mill loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 280–135, loses to Bertrand Russell by 204–178
|5. W.V.O. Quine loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 291–150, loses to John Stuart Mill by 214–198
|6. G.W.F. Hegel loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–130, loses to W.V.O. Quine by 214–210
|7. Saul Kripke loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 314–138, loses to G.W.F. Hegel by 224–213
|8. Friedrich Nietzsche loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 290–117, loses to Saul Kripke by 209–207
|9. Karl Marx loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 359–95, loses to Friedrich Nietzsche by 254–138
|10. Soren Kierkegaard loses to Ludwig Wittgenstein by 358–124, loses to Karl Marx by 230–213
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May 1st, 2012
Our usual understanding of possible worlds are simply references to any possible state of affairs. They have no ontic grounding or actuality. It’s a semantic tool. However, there are those who treat possible worlds as actual. (The world actual becomes very fuzzy in modal realism). Philosopher David Lewis is the leading proponent of modal realism (Lewisian modal realism) and he has developed six essential doctrines to understanding modal realism:
- Possible worlds exist–they are just as real as our world
- Possible worlds are the same sort of things as our world–they differ in content, not in kind
- Possible worlds cannot be reduced to something more basic–they are irreducible entities in their own right
- Actuality is indexical. When we distinguish our world from other possible worlds by claiming that it alone is actual, we mean only that it is our world
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